Brussels 01.12.2022 South Africa is facing deep political turmoil and corresponding uncertainty across markets amid growing calls for President Cyril Ramaphosa to step down over an emerging bizarre scandal centered on the alleged theft of $580,000.
The over half million in cash was literally found stuffed in a sofa at a farm that Ramaphosa owns. The timing of the crisis couldn’t be worse given long-awaited economic reforms had only just begun to take shape and improve the country’s outlook.
The mysterious cash payment has sparked outrage particularly among the opponents of the ruling African National Congress, and with his allies holding emergency consultations. On Thursday South African media is reporting President Ramaphosa is to imminently address the nation as prospect for his resignation grows, and as he faces impeachment.
Cyril Ramaphosa on Wednesday moved to the brink of becoming the first South African president to face impeachment after a report found evidence that he might have broken the law in relation to a stash of money stolen at one of his properties.
The finding by an independent parliamentary panel essentially amounts to a recommendation that Mr. Ramaphosa face a hearing in Parliament that could lead to his removal if two-thirds of the lawmakers vote against him.
The panel cast doubt on the president’s explanation for how the large sum of U.S. currency came to be hidden in — and stolen from — a couch in his living quarters. “The information presented by the president on the storage of the money is vague and leaves unsettling gaps,” the report said.